Make Like a Scale and Balance

27 Sep

College is a learning experience in all aspects of life; academically, economically, socially, and physically. The key to being successful in all aspects is to be your own scale.

Many students still haven’t mastered balancing out every aspect, but I will walk you through the process. A big misconception people have about college is illustrated below…This triangle will be your downfall! Don’t follow it! As a freshman, I decided to choose a social life and sleep, resulting in not-so-good grades. I’m going to be brutally honest with you, college is hard and it only gets harder. However, your approach and time-management skills will be your shield to the slings and arrows college sends your way. 

Here’s what you should do:

Academically

The biggest battle in college is managing your time wisely. The average student takes about 5 courses a semester which means exams, quizzes, papers, projects, reports, practicals, presentations… the list is endless. My planner is my best friend – I don’t know where I’d be without it. One thing I’ve found to work for me is writing down major exams and assignments ahead of time with weekly reminders of time left until the big exam. I like my old school paper planner, but if you’re more tech savvy then consider using the calendar and reminders on your phone.

Economically

Let’s be honest…#thestruggleisreal. I decided one day that I was going to keep good track of where and how I spend my money and the results were shocking! I’ll use last month as an example; I bought iced coffees from Starbucks about 3 times a week, bought lunch twice a week, bought ice cream from U-Mart twice a week, went out to the movies every two weeks, and ate out at least every weekend. My total expenses for that month were well over $200. That’s not including rent, groceries, gas, and bills. It was quite a reality check. Now I pack lunch everyday, I limit my coffee buying to maybe once per week week, and I’m extra careful about my spending. I’ll ask myself, “Do you really need it?” and half the time I decide I don’t.

Socially

Many student get caught up with school and work and forget to make time for fun. In one of my classes, I recently learned that as a human being, we NEED constant interaction. A simple “hello” will do. You might think of it as ridiculous and unimportant, but trust me…it truly makes a difference in your mood and outlook for the day. With that in mind, it’s important to schedule social time with a friend to relieve some stress, catch up, vent, anything really. With a busy schedule, I try to meet with a friend for at least 15 minutes a day and even small meetings like that brighten my day. 

Physically

“It’s hard enough to schedule assignments/exams, social hour, and now you’re talking about a workout session?!” If you’re feeling overwhelmed, bear with me! Students tend to have terrible sleeping and eating habits all because of the stressors of college. FYI:

  • Pulling “all-nighters” isn’t cool anymore (if it ever was). You should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep. If you’re not, plan/schedule accordingly so you can.
  • Eating a well-balanced meal is the new norm. Having Panda for breakfast is just wrong. Try eating oatmeal, cereal, fruit parfaits, or bagels for breakfast.
  • Netflix all evening is a thing of the past. Get up from that bed and do a physical activity for at least 30 minutes. Take your dog for a walk, go for a run, do some yoga, go to the gym, or simply do a short workout at home. The goal is to get your blood pumping.

At the end of the day we are all human, we make mistakes. It’s totally acceptable if it takes you a few times to master balancing out everything going on in your life. Just remember to keep all of these tips in mind and try to balance it out as best as you can.

Good luck!

-Becky

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